By Rebekah K. Bohannon Beele
On Tuesday, Dec. 2, Homestead Elementary School (HES) presented its annual Christmas music program to a gym full of beaming parents, friends and family. This year’s program, Christmas Is, included presentations from HES Pre-K through fifth grade classes, Homestead Dance Team, HES Interpretive Movement Team, and the HES Band. The efforts and determinations of not only the wonderful students of HES were prevalent, but also that of HES’ prized and indispensable music teacher, Mr. Rick Weyhrich.
Backed by the Christmas decoration display by Mrs. Kay Selby, HES students clad in green and red with Santa hats and the like were ready for their show. The program opened with second and third grade enthusiastically singing “Jingle Bells” followed by fourth and fifth grade with “White Christmas.” Homestead Dance Team performed an adorable routine to “Extraordinary Merry Christmas” and were followed with second through fifth grades singing “Blue Christmas.” Then, the crowd in the stands, as well as the students awaiting their next turn to sing, couldn’t help but join in the fourth and fifth grades singing of Christmas favorite, “Jingle Bell Rock.” Each song was introduced with histories and little known facts about them by student performers.
Joining forces to do “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” justice, second and third grades paid homage to the most famous reindeer of all. HES Pre-K through first grades then convincingly sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” The fifth grade Beginning Band surprised with impressive instrumental arrangements of “Jingle Bells” and “Up on a House Top.” HES Band, comprised of sixth through eighth grades, struck a chord with their flawless renditions of “The Little Drummer Boy” and “Frosty the Snowman.”
The HES Interpretive Movement Team performed a graceful enactment of “Oh, What a Beautiful Name” through sign language and motion. A tender singing of “Away in a Manger” by Pre-K through first grades brought the audience to a place of reverence and second through fifth grades rejoiced with “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
All the classes sang the final song, “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” sending everyone home with the season’s best wishes from Homestead Elementary. The notable performances of music and dance were no doubt each student’s display of dedication, confidence and expression.
"It is such a joy to work with the students of Homestead on our Christmas program. Music is a vital element of the Christmas season, and I try to include songs that the students will hear on the radio and at shopping malls at this festive time,” said Weyhrich. “By integrating our fifth through eighth grade bands, the interpretive movement team, and the dance team into the program, students are allowed to express a variety of talents. It is also a tradition for eighth grade band members to narrate the program. I am so very proud of each and every one of these students."
A special thank you to Mr. Rick Weyhrich for his patient teaching, skilled direction, encouraging words, and steadfast commitment to musical education and HES.